HKUrbanLabs is the newly branded research arm of the University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Architecture (FoA). It draws together the research and outreach energies of scholars of architecture, conservation, construction management, housing, landscape, planning, real estate, surveying, transport, urban design, urban economics and urban studies. Its collective endeavour is to better understand, plan, design, produce, govern and manage cities of the 21st century.
Being located at the epicenter of an urbanization experiment unprecedented in history, HKUrbanLabs has a strong emphasis on research into high-density and rapidly growing cities, including rural-urban linkages and settlements in the hinterlands and heartlands of mega-city regions.
HKUrbanLabs is anchored by the researchers in HKU’s Faculty of Architecture, but provides a focus for urban researchers across the University and in international and Mainland China partner universities via the research labs and centres described below. Its home is the ten-floor 1960s Knowles Building perched on the forested hillside of HKU’s 100 year old Pokfulam Campus, where it is supported by various technical facilities, all currently in operation but in the process of moving to newly renovated bespoke homes over the next two years. These include an urban big data iLab (completion expected early 2016); Urban Gallery (completion expected 2017); Architectural Conservation Lab (completion expected spring 2016); Built Environmental Science Lab (completion expected 2017); and Fabrication Lab (completion expected 2017).